In yesterday’s piece on the XTERRA East Championship off-road triathlon, I mentioned a fan who had set up to take pictures at a particularly tricky section of Buttermilk Trail. The fan’s name is Mark Lindsey. He’s an avid local mountain biker, and, knowing how tough that section could be, he had his camera set to take bursts of pictures in case one of the racers took a tumble. Well, Lindsey was not disappointed in that regard.
When XTERRA pro Kara LaPoint came through the rocky creek crossing, she went over the handlebars and onto the rocks — face first. Lindsey sent me over a dozen pictures this morning, which RichmondOutside.com tech guru Ryan Abrahamsen turned into an animated GIF below.
To her credit, LaPoint was not deterred. She somehow found the strength to finish the race, as she reported on her Facebook page:
Was SO relieved to get out of the water after the hardest and craziest swim I’ve ever done, and psyched up to bike hard! But unfortunately I crashed HARD in a rock garden (got a nice shiner on my face to show for it!) and ended up breaking my derailleur hanger. Lost a MASSIVE chunk of time (if you were tracking and wondering why my GPS didn’t move for 20+ minutes, this is it!), but thanks to the help of neutral assist I was able to (eventually) get repaired and get going again.
As all who know me well know, I am definitely not one to give up in the face of a challenge, and will always do everything I possibly can to avoid a DNF, regardless of the circumstances. It was a tough call to carry on today after losing so much time and being so very far out of the race, but it was really important to me finish what I started, with my head held high. I traveled all the way to Richmond to race, so I decided that was what I needed to do. I rode and ran as hard as I could from there to the finish line, and even managed to nab one pro place back near the end of the run, and just a couple minutes out of two more places.
The faceplant might not quite have been Craig Evans quality from last year’s race (at left, as captured by the T-D’s Joe Mahoney), but it was pretty darn impressive (especially considering she was not seriously injured). And it surely gives you a sense for how gnarly Richmond’s MTB trails can be and how tough XTERRAs off-road triathletes have to be on race day.